Dems demand LGBT envoy in State Department

Senate Democrats called on President Obama to appoint a special envoy for LGBT Human Rights within the Department of State.

In a letter to Obama sent over the weekend, 25 Democratic senators urged the administration to create the new position within the State Department to serve as an adviser on international Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues.

“We believe that the grave threats posed to LGBT peoples around the world necessitate that this Special Envoy position be established as soon as possible,” the senators wrote.

The senators argued that a special envoy was necessary because some countries are passing discriminatory laws — even sentencing some to death for being gay.

“In nearly eight nations around the world there exist laws that criminalize homosexuality, prohibit public support for the LGBT community, or promote homophobia,” the letter stated. “To adequately address the challenges posed by these new discriminatory laws, there needs to be coordination of action across the federal government.”

The lawmakers said they would continue to work toward congressional passage of the International Human Rights Defense Act, S. 2472, but that because “time is of the essence” the administration should take immediate action.

Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySanders, Dem senators press Obama to halt ND pipeline Senate Dems ask Obama to block Atlantic, Arctic offshore drilling Federal agency under fire for selling recalled cars MORE's (D-Mass.) bill would force the administration to create the LGBT special envoy position within State.